April 2005 I was fortunate, along with my late old man, to wrangle our way on to the first FlyCastaway “PAYDIRT” trip… 14 Anglers, 2 Guides… 2 weeks, two Seychelles outer Atolls which at that stage had virtually never been fished.. or if they had, it was VERY little…
Cosmoledo for a week, and then Farquhar for a week, this Paydirt trip was when Flycastaway were just looking into the mind altering outer Atolls of the Seychelles. As you can imagine the fishing was pretty ridiculous, but more important to this post is the people I met on the trip. A misfit group of anglers lumped together on the adventure of a life time, which lived up to every expectation, and more for everyone involved..
One of the guys on the trip was Armand Flies.. Armand is well known in South African fly fishing and tying circles for not only a huge amount of development of both flies and techniques for Largemouth Yellowfish, but also an incredible tyer too. I remember how even back 15 years ago chatting with him on the back deck of the now Somali Pirate sunk old steel-hulled mothership, the Indian Ocean Explorer, at anchor late in the evening, while catching Dogtooth Tuna, GT’s and all manner of reef species, I admired his “left field” approach to things. Not content to accept the norm, Armand seems to always have a method for things, an approach to things, that is slightly left field, but comes from many hours of testing and developing, and never accepting that the norm is ” the best way to do something”.
About 18 months or more ago, I got chatting to Armand on WhatsApp about my new obession with Bob Popovic’s BEAST Pattern.. I was in the beginnings of my love affair with Bucktail, and burning through primo Bucktail at a rate of knots while stumbling my way through the trials and tribulations one finds on the BEAST and Hollow Fly journey.
Not surprisingly Armand had already been down this rabbit hole, and figured out all the tricks, mastered it all and likely moved on to tying and developing some other new fangled way to do something. He was kind enough to share a trick of his with me, that although incredibly simple, like most things are once you see them, has helped massively in my tying with bucktail, and specifically tying Hollow style patterns.
I shot a little video below (don’t worry it’s A LOT shorter than the last one! ) showcasing this little trick of Armand’s, which I call “The Money Bump” Method. The video also shows the two different methods of hollow tying that I use, namely Bob Popovic’s “Thread Dam” method, as well as what I refer to us a “Bullet Tie” method, which is more traditional for Hollow ties. I also show and explain a little bit about where I use each version. If you’re interested in tying Hollows, or just a new trick that could help you elsewhere, check it out:
I truly adore the Hollow style platform for tying. Its versatility is incredible and while it can be used beautifully on smaller baitfish patterns, it really shines on the larger platforms for big, light, beautiful baitfish and squid patterns that swim incredibly.
Hope you enjoy the video, and big thanks to Armand again for sharing..
Below a couple recent lockdown ties using the King of Materials, Bucktail, and all making extensive use of Hollow Tie techniques.